Wallenberg syndrome - Some Facts To Know

Generally, strokes occur in the humans in different areas of the body and when it occurs in the lateral medulla, this condition is referred to as Wallenberg Syndrome. It is a rare condition that occurs in the part of the brain stem called as lateral medulla. The reason is that when the arteries that are reaching this part of the brain gets blocked, oxygenated blood cannot reach this part, thereby leading to stroke. This condition is otherwise referred to as lateral medullary infarction.


Generally, the brain stem in the human body is responsible for delivery of messages to the spinal cord for sensory and motor functions and in the event of a stroke in this area, problems will occur in the sensations and function of muscles in the patient. The most common symptom experienced by patients with this condition is difficulty in swallowing. On the basis of the nutrition the individual gets, the difficulty in swallowing can lead to serious health issue. Other symptoms of this condition include dizziness, a reduction in the level of sweating, hiccups, rapid movement of eyes, hoarseness and vomiting and nausea. Even, the patients might experience other symptoms like trouble in maintaining balance and trouble in walking as well.

In some cases, patients with this condition may experience numbness or paralysis on a single side of the body. This can occur in face, limbs or even in tiny organs of the body like the tongue. Some patients will experience that everything around them are tilted as they will walk at a slant.

Even, this condition can cause a change in the rate of heartbeat and changes in the level of blood pressure as well. It is important that the patient should discuss about each and every symptom with the doctor as every bit of information provided by the patient will be helpful for the doctor to diagnose the disease rightly.

Who are at risk?

Reports state that patients with minor neck trauma, blood clots, artery and heart disease are at the risk of getting the lateral medullary infarction. Generally, minor neck trauma is identified as the major cause for this issue in the case of patients of more than 45 years of age.

How is it diagnosed?

Generally, doctor will make a diagnosis after reviewing the health history and after discussing about the symptoms experienced by the patient. If the disease is suspected, the doctor might recommend a CT scan or an MRI scan to identify whether there is a block in the artery close to the lateral medulla.

What is the treatment?

Even though, there is no actual solution to this issue, the doctor will prescribe medications for relieving the symptoms. Speech or swallowing therapy might be suggested to help the patient to get out of the difficulty in swallowing. If the condition of the patient is severe, a feeding tube may be recommended, so that the patient can get the nutrients for the proper functioning of all other organs of the body.

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